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Reference List: Quick Guide

Quick Guide to Electronic Sources

1. The retrieval date and database information are not needed for articles retrieved from online sources. Instead, you want to use a permanent link to the article. The preferred permanent link is the DOI. If there is a DOI, you’ll find it somewhere on the first page of the journal article. It might appear hidden behind a database button. You may also check this link: http://www.crossref.org/guestquery/ and APA 6th edition 6.31, 6.32, and 7.01

Swann, W. B., Jr., Sellers, J. G., & McClarty, K. L. (2006). Tempting today, troubling tomorrow: The roots of the precarious couple effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(1), 93-103. doi:10.1177/0146167205279584

2. If no DOI number is shown, provide the URL for the journal homepage as the second choice. The retrieval date is not required in this type of reference.

Murray, D., Moore, R., Johnson, T., & Keeler, P. (2006). Coping with skill loss among the aging recreational softball player. Gerontological Studies Quarterly, 16(2), 167-180. Retrieved from http://exact.url.of.journal.homepage.com/

3. In the rare instances that the journal does not have its own homepage (such as for older journals no longer in print but converted to online documents), provide either (a) the database home page or (b) the name of the database and the accession number.

The sixth edition of the APA manual guidelines:

Scott, G. (2008). Understanding difficult change in writing formatting and its effect on personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6(2). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com

Scott, G. (2008). Understanding difficult change in writing formatting and its effect on personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6(2). Retrieved from Academic Search Premiere database. (Accession No. 200010188)

4. A retrieval date is only needed in the reference list for nonjournal instances where material may change at a later date. This includes media such as works in-press and preprint journal articles as well as information from organizations’ websites, such as the CDC, or information from governmental websites. A good guideline is that if the website content does not change, if the website requires a password to access, or if you need to search a database to find the information, then you most likely do not need the retrieval date.

5. For online newspaper articles you need not provide the specific page number, retrieval date, or lengthy URL. You would just provide the newspaper’s home page.

6. For print or electronic journals, show the issue number only when the journal is paginated separately by issue.

Allen, W. (1978). Guilt-free displeasure. Journal of Anhedonia, 15(6), 6-28. Retrieved from http://www.anhedonia.edu

But:

Allen, W. (1978). Guilt-free displeasure. Journal of Anhedonia, 15, 357-379. doi:10.1177/0146167205279584

The sixth edition of the APA manual guidelines remain the same as August 2007 guidelines:

Adams, M., & Pirius, L. (2007, May 15). Are steroids a problem on the sandlot? St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved from http://www.pioneerplanet.com

Additional resources:

Knowledge Check: Quick Guide to Electronic Sources